Tomatin.. Founded in around 1897 when the first official distillery on the site was registered, although it is believed that Whisky was produced well before this date and possibly as far back as the early 1700’s..
Found just 18 miles south of Inverness the distillery lies on the eastern edge of the Monadhliath Mountains at 1000 feet above sea level.
Boasting its own little village where around 80% of the workers still live Tomatin distillery is not just a job but a way of life !!
Once regarded as the largest distillery in Scotland with a capacity to produce 12 million litres of alcohol per year from its 23 stills ( 12 wash stills and 11 spirit stills)
Today the distillery is producing around 2.5 million ltrs of alcohol with a small percentage being peated, there are 10 malt bins each holding 500 tons of barley which at the moment is 100% Scottish, again a Porteus mill is in operation which was installed in 1974 and can crush 8.2 tons of barley every 90 mins.. There are 12 wash backs all around 42,600 ltrs each and all stainless steel, 12 stills of which only 10 are used ( 6 wash stills and 4 spirit stills) the distillery runs on a 54 hour fermentation.
Todays review is another of the bottle your own Virgin Oak single casks that are on offer, this one was bottled by myself on my recent visit and was distilled 27-9-13 and bottled 9-5-18 making this a youngster compared to the others I have tried from Tomatin..
Bottled at a strength of 62.4% this is a single cask with no colouring added not has it been chill filtered.. This is bottle 33 from cask 3428.
Nose.. Although a little more youthful this is showing lots of vanilla, caramel and toffee notes, dark chocolate, candied orange and a hint of dark fruits are noticeable. Spices are evident with an insanely peppery kick towards the end.
Palate.. Spicy with a real heat before the sweetness comes through.. Lots of pepper, chilli and chocolate with vanilla, toffee and a hint of oak creeping in..
Thoughts.. There is certainly a more youthful feel to this but with a more spicy kick, it has attitude and feels like it could be quite a moody whisky..
This feels like the cask has been extremely active from the very start ( I know it’s virgin oak ) and probably isn’t too far from becoming over dominant and spoiling the liquid inside.. Is it as good as the others ? Well it’s certainly different, it is nicely complex and has depth and yes I’m going to enjoy every drop of this liquid from this fantastic distillery…